Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Danilo Mezzadri

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Edward Hafer

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Catherine Rand

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Jacqueline McIlwain

Committee Member 5 Department



The Sousa Band is widely known because of its leader and his compositions. Although it was one of the most successful ensembles in history, most of the instrumentalists and individuals who contributed to its success have had their legacies forgotten. The flute section of the Sousa Band is an example of a group of musicians who were recognized as some of the best in the United States during their time, but are neglected by the present flute community.

My research focused on gathering data about the flute section and the individuals who were instrumental for the creation and development of the Sousa Band. An extensive investigation through old newspapers, old music journals, multiple publications on John Philip Sousa and his band, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated that a considerable amount of information on the flute players was scattered throughout government documents, such as military registers and census, local newspapers, old advertisements of instruments’ factories, obituaries, small entries on flute books, ancestry websites, and private collections. Therefore, I found it important to study them in order to produce a document that preserves and brings their legacy to light.

The findings of my investigation demonstrate how significant the flute section was both to the Sousa Band and the music community at large. The flute and piccolo players were frequently featured as soloists with prominent ensembles, and their virtuosity and expertise made them not only acclaimed performers but also relevant teachers during their time. Additionally, my research shows how important those flute players were in the recording industry. They occupied permanent positions in recording studios and were featured on hundreds of records by the most important recording labels of their time.

Finally, my document may serve as an addition to flute books and encyclopedias as it covers a missing part of the history of the flute and piccolo in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Emphasizing the role played by the flute section of the Sousa Band in this period, this document provides biographical information on the main flute players and teachers who were part of this section. It also provides information about some of their students who became influential musicians and university professors who passed along the legacy of the flute players of the Sousa Band to the next generations.